November 30, 2004
The 198 foot long M/V Stikine will basically be a sister vessel to the M/V Prince of Wales, according to IFA board chair and Craig mayor Dennis Watson. Each ferry is designed to accommodate 160 passengers, with a vehicle capacity of 30 standard automobiles. Enhancements to the new vessel will include an upgraded passenger deck layout, larger wheelhouse with enclosed bridge wings, more powerful bow thruster and a third generator. Delivery of the M/V Stikine is planned in March, 2006, with scheduled service on the northern route to be inaugurated in April, 2006, said Watson.
Daily IFA scheduled passenger/vehicle ferry service between Hollis on Prince of Wales Island and Ketchikan was introduced in January, 2002. According to an IFA news release, to date 1,367 round-trips have been completed. Passenger and vehicle traffic on this route has exceeded the original projections and continues to grow, Watson stated. The northern route will provide direct ferry service between Prince of Wales Island, Wrangell and Petersburg, opening new trade opportunities, tourism development, and connections with the Hollis- Ketchikan route.
The M/V Stikine will be built in the same Annacortes shipyard as the M/V Prince of Wales, according to IFA northern route project manager Loren Gerhard.
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